Happy Birthday!

We love celebrating birthdays!

One of our residents, Mark, celebrated his birthday in October, along with our Executive Director, Sonny Shank.

Mark first came to The Hope Center in March 2012. He has tried two previous times to defeat his alcohol addictions.He is a man of quiet demeanor and very intelligent. Unfortunately, his quietness has led to a quiet self-destruction. This is how he came to The Hope Center with the added plea of his parents, “please help our son.”
Mark ZieglerMark has been doing a great job in our Foundations Life Recovery program this time. He’s much more focused and determined to get the victory. He is easy to get along with and causes no problems whatsoever. Yet even here his quietness can harm him if he focuses on outward behavior and not inward transformation. He is proud to profess Christ as his Savior and is currently working hard to honor God with his life.
In about seven months Mark will graduate from the program. Today, he has made it farther than the previous two times he was in the program. Pray that he walks out of here a truly changed man who never needs to return for help, but instead may offer help and bring much glory to God.
We asked Mark to give us a brief testimony about what brought him to The Hope Center. These are his words:
“I came to The Hope Center in March of 2012 at the urging of my friends and family because my drinking was ruining my life.  I would drink to fill a void in my life that was created because of introvert tendencies.  I would rather “hide behind a bottle” than find other activities with people.  The Hope Center has given me opportunities to socialize with others and learn God’s Word.  After hearing other people’s experiences and testimonies it has made me realize I’m not alone and I can overcome alcoholism.  I can get involved in church activities and increase my social circle.  I have been saved, but I want to practice in my life what I have heard preached from God’s Word.  I keep many verses close at hand to use when I need them. Hopefully, this third time in the program will be my last, although I would love to visit The Hope Center after I graduate.”
Please pray for Mark as he nears completion of his recovery in our Foundations Life Recovery program. These next few months are important because many men feel that they are as good as can be and leave early only to fall back into the same traps and lifestyles that ruined them in the first place. Pray that Mark will stay focused on God and the goal of total transformation and recovery. And pray that Mark will use his life experiences to help reach others for Christ. He’s truly an amazing man who has a lot to offer. Pray that he allows God to fully use him for His glory.
Mark’s festive birthday cake was provided by our good friend, Stormy. Thank you so much Stormy for another delicious cake!
DSC_0150Mark wasn’t the only one celebrating his birthday last month at The Hope Center. Our Executive Director, Sonny Shank, also celebrated his birthday.
The staff and residents hosted a special birthday lunch for Mr. Shank in the dining room at The Hope Center. Everyone had a great time coming together to celebrate the man that God has chosen to lead this ministry.
We’re so thankful for Mr. Shank and all he does for this ministry. Please continue to pray for him as he works tirelessly to lead this ministry.

 

 

Our Christmas Bazaar is Tomorrow!

Our Ladies’ Auxiliary Christmas Bazaar is tomorrow! Don’t forget to stop by the Trinity Center for some great deals on holiday items like decorations, stocking stuffers, gifts, jewelry, books, and more.

The Auxiliary will also have some delicious food for sale so be sure to come hungry!

Invite your friends & family to join you tomorrow from 9am-2pm at the Trinity Center. There’s plenty of parking in our central lot off of Church Street. If you have any questions, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Christmas Bazaar

Superheroes Come in All Sizes

Captain America. Iron Man. Black Widow. Spider-man. We all have our favorite superheroes, whether they wield a hammer, are faster than a speeding bullet, or protect humans with their mutant powers, superheroes make for great stories, spectacular movies, and can teach kids great lessons about helping others.

But what exactly is a superhero? According to Webster’s Dictionary, a superhero is, ” a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also :  an exceptionally skillful or successful person.”

Do superheroes truly exist? Obviously they do. From the men & women of our Armed Forces, to firemen & women, police, and more, there are so many people who give above and beyond the call of human duty to make a difference.

It’s refreshing when a superhero comes in the form of a little boy.

DSC_0161Our superhero, Carson, is quite the little guy. For his birthday, like most little boys, Carson wanted a superhero theme. But his superhero birthday proves just how much of a hero Carson and his family is.

Instead of gifts for Carson, he and his family decided to help others by having party guests donate items to The Hope Center.

Included in the party invitation was a list of the items that are always needed in our pantry. From peanut butter, to sugar, coffee, creamer, cans of vegetables, box dinners, and more, Carson’s family wanted to make sure that they could help keep the hungry in Hagerstown fed.

In addition to items for our pantry, the family asked for other necessary items like paper towels, toilet paper, and napkins. They also gave party attendees the option of donating personal care items like soap, deodorant, shampoo, disposable razors, and shave gel for our overnight homeless guests.

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And in the grand tradition of superheroes, every kid who brought a donation received their official superhero cape!

It’s not everyday that a superhero celebrates his birthday in a way that it helps so many people in the community. Carson and his family may never know the full impact of their donation but God sees their generous spirit and we know that He will bless them as much as they blessed us.

We are thankful for parents who teach their kids the importance of giving to others, helping the less fortunate, and showing God’s love to all people.

Happy birthday and thank you, Carson, for being a real superhero! We thank God for you and your family and all the people who helped to make your birthday so special for us!

 

Our Thanksgiving Feast is Coming!

It’s only a few short weeks until turkeys, stuffing, & pumpkin pie take center stage across our great nation.

We love Thanksgiving and we enjoy sharing the day with our friends and family. No one should spend Thanksgiving alone so we’re hosting our Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast again this year.

Thanksgiving 2014Our free buffet features all the traditional Thanksgiving foods like roast turkey, mashed potatoes, our famous stuffing, succotash, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, fruit, pies and more. We’re hungry just thinking about it!

On top of the great food, we have kids activities so your little ones can make holiday memories for years to come!

The Great Hagerstown Thanksgiving Feast starts at 11:30am in the Trinity Center* with kids’ activities beginning at 11am. Bring the entire family, invite your friends, and tell your neighbors. The more the merrier!

If you have any questions about our Thanksgiving activities or would like more information, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

*The Trinity Center is located next to our Thrift Store in Hagerstown. There is parking located on Walnut Street or in our central parking lot off of Church Street between Walnut and Prospect Streets.

Kids Had a Frightfully Good Time at Fall-O-Ween!

On October 21st, the Trinity Center was full of superheroes, angels, football players, pirates, witches, and even a hobbit!

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Wildside Youth Ministries hosted their annual Fall-O-Ween party for all the little ghosts & goblins of Hagerstown.

Over 60 kids came to the Trinity Center to play Halloween-themed carnival games, win lots of prizes, and get tons of candy, and chow down on some great food.

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Playing all the various games wasn’t the only fun the kids had. They also enjoyed the open space to run around pretending to be their costumed characters.

From kids, to volunteers, to parents in attendance, it seemed like everyone had a great evening of haunts, treats, and lots of tricks!

 

Wildside Youth’s next big event party is “It’s a Wildside Thanksgiving” on Tuesday, November 18th from 5-7pm in the Trinity Center. Then on December 9th the Trinity Center becomes the North Pole for “Ping’s Famous Igloo Carnival”. This Christmas party is from 5-7pm as well.

Along with these awesome parties, Wildside hosts Sunday Night Wild each week from 7-8pm in the Wildside Sanctuary.

All Wildside Youth events are free for kids ages 5-12. To learn more about Wildside Youth at The Hope Center, go to http://www.wildsideyouth.com, email info@wildsideyouth.com or call 301.739.1165.

To volunteer at Wildside events, or any events or ministries at The Hope Center, please go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com.

 

Our Christmas Bazaar is Coming!

Christmas Bazaar

On Saturday, November 8th, the Trinity Center will be full of holiday cheer as we kick off the season with our annual Ladies’ Auxiliary Christmas Bazaar.

The doors of the Trinity Center will open at 9am for all the excited shoppers. Our bazaar will have a myriad of items like Christmas decorations, to stocking stuffers, jewelry, books, gift items, holiday clothing, and much more!

In addition to the great items on sale, our ladies’ will have a delicious lunch counter open for you to satisfy your hunger. Don’t miss the delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, baked goods, and other delectable foods for sale.

Our annual bazaar is one day only so be sure to mark your calendar! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to save big while also giving back to the community.

Profits generated from the Christmas Bazaar support our Ladies’ Auxiliary and their efforts to help fund essential needs at The Hope Center. We thank you for your support of our Auxiliary and The Hope Center. If you have any questions, please call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net.

Congratulations Derek!

We are excited to announce the graduation of Derek from our Foundations Life Recovery program!

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Our Foundations Life Recovery program is a 13 month residential rehabilitation program, based on Biblical principles, for men dealing with various addictions that are destroying them. Our rehabilitation program is not designed to just break addictions or habits, but to also help the man change his heart & mind. It’s not just about putting a new suit on the man, it’s about putting a new man in the suit.

Men in our Foundations Life Recovery program attend many different classes that help them defeat the addictions that have destroyed them. They also attend classes where they learn the value of their life through God’s plan for them. They are given the opportunity to make the changes that will help them leave our program prepared to be a contributing part of society.

When Derek first arrived at The Hope Center, he was just many of the other teens in America: looking for love and acceptance in all the wrong areas.

Derek grew up in the church, taking part in AWANA’s and even attending a Christian school. But Derek’s home life was much different. While Derek’s mother was a Christian, his father was not. He and his dad never really got along, which lead to clashes and Derek’s feeling of insecurity and fear of messing up and not gaining the approval of his father.

Eventually, the issues with his father came to a boiling point and Derek dropped out of church and his Christian school. His life was in a freefall and Derek began wandering aimlessly through life. He moved from group home to group home, institution to institution, just living life without a purpose. His only interests at that time were women and pornography.

Derek arrived at The Hope Center, knowing that he needed a change from his addiction to pornography. Instead of taking this opportunity serious, Derek was actually just hoping to breeze through this program just like the many others he was a part of.

After a while in our Foundations Life Recovery program, Derek realized that he wasn’t able to just do whatever he wanted and get by. He found himself in trouble multiple times, even getting kicked out and put on restrictions.

But God never gave up on Derek, and Derek knew deep down that there was a better life for him. He continued in our program and one day he and God had that moment where it all clicked.

Derek finally hit the point where he was tired of wandering, tired of fighting the truth, and tired of being disciplined. With tears in his eyes he called out, “God, I know you want me to work with kids, so why do I keep falling for this addiction?”

God responded to Derek. He reminded Derek that the reason he is addicted and not able to break free is because “he lost his first love”. God told Derek that he was given a passion to work with children so he could help other kids not “do the same things” he did to find love and acceptance. Derek said God also told him to “be yourself, everyone else is taken”.

This conversation with God was exactly the push Derek needed to finish the program at The Hope Center. Derek began taking his classes seriously. He started attending a church and helping out around The Hope Center. He established accountability with two different area pastors who helped supplement his spiritual instruction at The Hope Center.

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Derek with Pastor Brad Nigh of Hagerstown Christian Church

Derek has achieved a monumental goal in his life: his life has been recovered and he is free from the chains of pornography. On his face he wears one of the biggest, brightest smiles in all of Maryland. That smile is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and perseverance of Derek’s character and his commitment to following God and living for Him.

As Derek begins a new chapter in his life, he’s excited about the new adventures which are to come. One change that makes him extremely excited: “living on his own for the first time!” Derek is also hoping to volunteer at Wildside Youth Ministries, the youth program for kids at The Hope Center, and other organizations where he can help kids who are heading down the same path he once chose.

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Derek proudly receiving his diploma from Sonny Shank, our Executive Director

In late September we hosted a graduation ceremony to celebrate Derek’s achievement. Residents currently in the Foundations Life Recovery program, staff, volunteers, and people from Derek’s church attended the graduation. Following the ceremony, everyone was invited to enjoy refreshments and fellowship.

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We are so proud of Derek and his accomplishment. Our joy is only a small reflection of the celebration that took place in Heaven. Derek is another life changed for God. Instead of becoming another dark statistic, Derek is walking boldly in the light.

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Derek celebrating his graduation with friends and supporters from his church

Please pray for Derek, and the other men in our Foundations Life Recovery program. The decision to clean up their lives is not an easy one, and the devil works overtime to ruin, defeat, and destroy these men. Pray that the men in the program will see the success of Derek and work to conquer the addictions that are separating them from God. And pray for Derek, and the many other graduates, as they embark on a new life of victory. The devil wants nothing more than to see God’s people be destroyed by their weaknesses. Pray that these men find strong spiritual support systems that help them live each day victoriously.

And continue to pray for the staff and volunteers at The Hope Center. The people who serve are on the front line of a very serious spiritual war. They are trying to help meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of so many. It’s not an easy situation to be in as the devil targets our staff and volunteers.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support of The Hope Center. Because of people like you, Derek was able to have a place to change his life. Your financial support, food and clothing donations, and prayers help to keep our facilities operational all day, every day. From helping addicts with no where to turn, to feeding families, providing shelter for the homeless, and giving kids a safe place to have fun, your support is reaching thousands of people and changing lives. Again we say thank you for partnering with us to help others.

If you’d like to start supporting The Hope Center, call 301.739.1165 or email hagerstownrescue@verizon.net. You can go to http://www.hagerstownrescue.org and click on the “Give to HRM” tab located in the red box on the left hand side of the page if you’d prefer using your debit/credit card online.

If you’d like to join the ranks of our faithful volunteers, go to http://www.volunteerhagerstown.com to learn about the various ways you can help change lives.